How Does the Corona Virus Effect Employers?
Employers and employees are asking a lot of questions related to the Corona virus. A new law was just passed setting new requirements for paid sick leave because of the Corona virus.
Employers want to know what their obligations are and employees want to know if they are going to get paid.
FAMILY FIRST CORONARVIUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA)
1. Does the FFCRA apply to public employers? Generally, yes. Potential exemptions exist within the legislation, but to become effective, the Department of Labor would have to outline the exemptions through regulation, which has not occurred at this time. In addition, the legislation allows employers to exempt emergency responders, which would presumably exclude police and paid fire employees.
2. How Does the FFCRA Change Current Law? The FFCRA makes changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act and separately provides paid leave time in certain circumstances.
3. What if the public employer has less than 50 employees? Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), an employee typically needs to be employed for 1,250 hours in the past twelve months and also must be in a workforce with 50 or more employees in order to claim leave entitlement. The FFCRA creates a narrow additional benefit under the FMLA solely for employees who have worked for an employer with less than 500 employees (no minimum number) and who has been employed by that employer for at least 30 days.
4. What benefits are employees entitled to under the FFCRA? Under the FFCRA an employee who meets the above requirements is entitled to leave when the employee is “unable to work (or telework) due to the need for leave to care for” a child “if the school or place of care” has closed or the “child care provider” has become “unavailable” due to a public health emergency. “Public health emergency” is defined under the FFCRA to cover only declared emergencies relating to COVID-19. Also, “child care provider” covers only an individual who “receives compensation” for doing so “on a regular basis.” Schools included are only elementary and secondary schools.
5. How Much Leave Time can an Employee Receive under the FFCRA? The first ten days of the above leave are unpaid. The remaining time (hypothetically, the lesser of the remainder of the time in which the coronavirus impacts an employee in the above way or twelve weeks), the employee is entitled to paid leave (payable at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours which the employee would have worked, with a maximum daily amount of $200 and a maximum total amount for the employee of $10,000).
Employees who are laid off, lose jobs or asked to work reduced hours due to the Corona virus have access to unemployment benefits, federal relief, if and when it passes, as well as the paid sick leave under FFCRA.
Every employer and employee should be working to educate and utilize these benefits.
If you want to see all the information I put together on the Corona Virus Click HERE.
Stay safe, smart and prepared and we'll get through this.
I'm Chris, host of the Christopher Scott Show Podcast. If you want to check out the podcast it's available on your favorite podcast player and HERE.